Ricciardo replaced for FP1 session in Japan

Daniel Ricciardo will miss the first practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix, Helmut Marko has confirmed.

RB will instead field an all-Japanese line-up with Ayumu Iwasa taking over his seat for the session, partnering compatriot Yuki Tsunoda.

Iwasa will carry out one of the two rookie FP1 sessions that all teams are required to fulfil as part of the regulations.

It is not the first time that the Red Bull sister team has run a non-full-time Japanese driver at the Suzuka Circuit as it gifted Naoki Yamamoto a seat at the 2019 edition of the event.

Previewing the upcoming race in Japan, Marko wrote in his column for Speedweek: “On Friday we will use our young pilot Ayumu Iwasa in practice, an All-Nippon team.

“What’s more, the Suzuka circuit should suit the Racing Bulls’ car.”

Who is Ayumu Iwasa?

Iwasa is currently competing in the Super Formula Championship after spending two seasons in the Formula 2 series.

The 22-year-old scored five victories during his two seasons in the F2 championship, finishing fifth and fourth in the Drivers’ standings in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

The Suzuka outing will mark Iwasa’s FP1 debut, however he has taken part in an F1 session before, climbing behind the AlphaTauri at the end-of-season test in Abu Dhabi last year.

He has been part of the Red Bull junior programme since 2021.


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